It Only Makes Sense That God Doesn't Make Sense
In honor of Trinity Sunday, I want to admit that the Trinity is completely incomprehensible.
God exists as one God in three Persons. That does not mean that God is divided up into three parts like a pie chart where the Father is a third, the Son is a third, and the Spirit is a third. This is not the proper understanding of the Trinity. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one. But at the same time the Persons are distinct. In other words, it’s not like God chooses to be the Father at times, then chooses to be the Son, and then chooses to be the Spirit, as though God takes on three different modalities. God is not split up into three parts, and God does not move in and out of three different modes. God is at all times fully one existing in three.
Confused? Join the club. This is why those outside Christianity mock us and view our concept of a Triune God as complete foolishness and wholly irreconcilable. And this is why many within Christianity are constantly trying to “fix” our doctrine of the Trinity through different heretical offshoots. But what others see as nonsense, Christians see as beautiful.
There is another way to approach the confusion surrounding the Trinity. Perhaps this doctrine’s mystery is what makes it so compelling. It does not exist within the bounds of logic, it does not make for a neat and tidy understanding of God, we can’t explain it, we can’t apprehend it, we can’t master it, it has always been and will always be an infinite mystery beyond the grasp of finite minds; and this is precisely why I love the Triune vision of God. The unexplainable nature of this doctrine is, in my opinion, it’s greatest apologetic.
Let me remind us that we are talking about an infinite God, the Creator and Sustainer of all things … do you really think He should be comprehended by mere mortals? Do you really think our minds should conceive of Him? Do you really think we should be able to master the doctrine of God? If I were going to invent the concept of god, it would either take the straightforward monotheistic form, or the polytheistic gods of mythology, or the mystical impersonal force of the eastern mysticism. Each of these make perfect sense, and cynics are right to say they look a lot like projections of the human mind and have all the signs of mankind’s vain effort to explain the mysteries of existence. In other words, man could easily have invented those concepts of a god. But never, ever, ever, would humans invent a Trinitarian God.
The Trinity finds its origins and explanation in divine revelation, not human logic. It doesn’t make sense, but we believe it because this is the vision of God in Scripture. And I am completely comfortable with that tension.
I’m not interested in a God I can master and explain. I don’t want my God to fit neatly inside my systematic theology. I guess you could say I like worshiping a God that forces me into a posture of humility and that confession we all fear but is good for the soul, “I don’t know.” If there is a God, it only makes sense that He doesn’t make sense.